What Joe Banner says about Michael Vick

Posted: August 14, 2009

Daily News columnist Elmer Smith spoke with Eagles president Joe Banner last night about the Eagles' signing of Michael Vick. Here is some of what he told Smith:

On fan reaction: "We got quite a few calls from people who were upset. But there was a fairly significant, large number, in favor. I'd say there was a smaller number opposed ...

"We've been hearing anecdotes of people in sports bars who were enthusiastic about it. There were some chants for Vick here at the game."

On the decision-making process: "I just hope the people will understand that we did our research. We spent a week talking to everybody we could. We talked to the commissioner's office, spent some time talking with Tony Dungy [the former Indianapolis Colts coach who is Vick's personal adviser]. We even talked to the national Humane Society. At first, we didn't want to get involved in even talking with them. It was very tough initially, but everybody we talked to said the same thing, that he was remorseful and that he had gone through an incredible transformation, that he was basically good at heart. We heard this over and over again from people who felt he deserved a second chance."

How the deal came together: "Basically about 48 hours ago, we had agreed to terms. We wanted to have him come in before we tied things up, but by then, we had expected a good outcome. What we thought was that there was an outstanding football player out there and we were comfortable with him in terms of character."

On Vick's crimes: Banner characterized them as "horrible," but he said he felt he had paid his dues and deserved a second chance: "Now we've got to look forward and see what kind of man he is going to be."

On the Eagles' quarterback situation: Banner said that backup quarterback Kevin Kolb's knee injury was not a factor in the decision and that he expects Kolb to be back within a week.

|
|
|
|
|